UCL: Mendy shines as Chelsea and Sevilla play out goalless stalemate

Edouard Mendy produced a solid display as Chelsea recorded a first clean sheet in the Champions League since winning 1-0 at Ajax in October 2019

Chelsea suffered a frustrating start to their Champions League campaign as they were held by Sevilla, their first goalless draw under Frank Lampard.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Blues goalkeeper Edouard Mendy marked his return from injury with an excellent save to claw away Nemanja Gudelj’s header after it had flicked off Kurt Zouma.

Sevilla, last season’s Europa League winners, showed off their experience on the European stage.

Former Liverpool forward Suso headed wide before Lucas Ocampos forced another save from Mendy after Zouma’s poor clearance.

Chelsea improved after the break, Zouma and Ben Chilwell both heading chances straight at goalkeeper Yassine Bounou.

Sevilla went close to taking the lead in spectacular fashion through substitute Joan Jordan’s dipping volley from a corner.

With Group E rivals Rennes held 1-1 in France, Chelsea head to Russia next Wednesday to face Krasnodar with all four teams on one point.

Positives for Lampard despite draw

Chelsea have started this season with a flurry of goals at one end of the pitch – and defensive implosions at the other.

While they failed to score for only the second time in eight games this season, Lampard’s side at least managed a clean sheet after a much-improved performance at the back.

Fifty-eight days after appearing in the final for Paris St-Germain, Thiago Silva returned to the Champions League stage as Lampard shuffled his defence after conceding three against Southampton last Saturday.

Reece James also marked his return to the defence with a solid performance, while Mendy’s save to deny Gudelj proved Chelsea have at least one pair of safe hands in the squad after Kepa Arrizabalaga’s problems.

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But on a night when Lampard became only the second Englishman to manage in two Champions League campaigns, after Sir Bobby Robson, Chelsea struggled to cause Sevilla enough problems going forward.

Timo Werner, with seven goals and two assists in his previous 11 games in the competition, lacked service and on the rare occasions he did get sight at goal he was unable to make an impact.

New signings bedding in

Chelsea spent £250m during the summer transfer window, with five of their recent additions starting this game.

Three – Mendy, Chilwell and Silva – impressed at the back as the Blues produced their best defensive performance of the season to stop the Spanish visitors from scoring on the night 38-year-old keeper Petr Cech was named in Chelsea’s Premier League squad.

Sevilla beat Wolves and Manchester United on their way to winning the Europa League last season but they were unable to find a way past a well-drilled Chelsea backline.

Chilwell impressed going forward and it was his corner which set up a great chance for the unmarked Zouma before the former Leicester player was presented with a chance of his own but could not beat Bounou.

Fewest attempts at goal since 2015 – the stats

  • Chelsea recorded just six shots, their fewest attempts at goal in a Champions League game since February 2015 – against Paris Saint-Germain (2).
  • The Blues have drawn five of their past eight Champions League home matches, as many as in their previous 33 games in the competition at Stamford Bridge.
  • Sevilla are unbeaten in the first match of their last five Champions League campaigns (W2 D3).
  • Chelsea have won just one of their past 10 Champions League games against Spanish opposition (D6 L3).
  • Sevilla have failed to win any of their past five away games in the group stages of the Champions League (D4 L1).
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